The Land Rover Freelander is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) which was produced by the British manufacturer Land Rover, in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions, from 1997 to 2014.
The second generation, launched in 2007, was sold as the LR2 in North America and as the Freelander 2 in Europe.
It uses a monocoque (unibody) structure, in common with almost all other crossovers in its class, but unlike traditional SUVs built with body-on-frame designs. The Freelander was replaced by the Discovery Sport in 2015.
First generation (L314; 1997–2006)
|First generation (L314)|
Facelift Freelander Sport 3-door
|Production||October 1997–Late 2006|
|Assembly||Solihull, United Kingdom
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||5-door SUV
|Engine||1.8 L K-Series I4
2.5 L Rover KV6 V6
2.0 L BMW M47 TD I4
2.0 L L-Series TD I4
|Wheelbase||101.0 in (2,565 mm)|
|Length||2001–2003 5-door: 175.0 in (4,445 mm)
2004–2006 5-door: 174.1 in (4,422 mm)
3-door: 175.1 in (4,448 mm)
|Width||2001–2003: 71.1 in (1,806 mm)
2004–2006: 71.2 in (1,808 mm)
|Height||2001–2003 5-door: 68.9 in (1,750 mm)
2004–2006 5-door: 69.0 in (1,753 mm)
3-door: 67.2 in (1,707 mm)
Market research by the Rover Group in the late 1980s suggested that Land Rover could enter the compact SUV market segment. In the early 1990s, the Rover Group had a restricted product development budget and looked for a partner to develop the project, which was codenamed CB40 (after Canley Building 40, where the concept was initially developed). Rover's then-partner Honda declined and chose to develop its own CR-V model that was launched in 1997.
Rover decided to go it alone with the CB40, using existing parts and components, as it had done with the MGF roadster. When BMW took over Rover Group in 1994, the CB40 project received the capital it needed to proceed. In December 2007, Autocar reported that early development designs and sketches of the Freelander featured Hyundai badging, suggesting that a tie up between both manufacturers was being proposed. The design of the Freelander was by Gerry McGovern, who went on become the head of design at Land Rover in 2007.
Land Rover initially intended to subcontract the manufacture of the Freelander to Valmet in Finland, however BMW terminated this agreement upon acquiring the Rover Group, and instead funded production facilities at Solihull, finally making use of the old Rover SD1 assembly hall which had been mothballed in the early 1980s, when Rover car production was moved to Cowley.
The Freelander was launched in October 1997. It became Europe's best-selling four-wheel drive model until 2002. The last Freelanders in North America were sold as 2005 models.
There were a variety of models, based around five-door estate and three-door softback (semi-convertible), hardback, and commercial (van-like) versions. In 2004, Land Rover introduced an improved and upgraded version of the Mark I; changes included a new interior and major external revisions, including a new face and rear.
The three-door model was available in E, S, SE, Sport and Sport Premium trim and the five-door model in available in E, S, SE, HSE, Sport and Sport Premium trim.
Engine choices include:
- 1.8 litre I4 Rover K-Series petrol (1997–2006), badged as '1.8i', 'Xi' or 'XEi' (Not sold in North America)
- 2.0 litre I4 Rover L-series diesel (1997–2000), badged as 'Di', 'XDi' or 'XEDi'
- 2.0 litre I4 BMW M47 diesel (2001–2006), badged as 'Td4'
- 2.5 litre V6 Rover KV6 Engine petrol (2001–2006), badged as 'V6'
Manual gearboxes dominated the early models, but automatic Tiptronic-style gearboxes (Jatco JF506E) became increasingly popular and were standard on the V6. The Automatic Tiptronic gearbox was also available as an option on the Td4.
The first generation Freelander was used in the 1998 Camel Trophy and participated in Land Rover's G4 Challenge. The vehicle represented a compromise because it did not have a low-range gear selection, nor a locking differential, as found on larger Land Rover models. This meant that in comparison to other Land Rovers, off-road performance was not as good. In comparison to similar models produced by other manufacturers in the same period of time like the Honda CRVor the Toyota RAV4, however, the first generation Freelander was far more competent off-road.
It had more than sixteen patented features, including the IRD or Intermediate Reduction Drive, which acted as a front differential and fixed ratio transfer; the VCU or viscous-coupling, which reacts to the differing rotational speed of the prop shafts, allowing varying torque across itself; and the Hill Descent Control system, which was then implemented in the rest of the Land Rover range and even in the first generation BMW X5. (BMW was the parent company of Rover Group at the time of the introduction of this model).
This first generation also used a Traction Control system and a special version of ABS produced by Wabco and modified to assist driving in off-road situations. Lack of the MG Rover K18 and KV6 engines after the end of the MG Rover production led Land Rover to discontinue the model on 31 August 2005 in the U.S. and Canada.
Freelander 2 (L359; 2006–2014)
|Freelander 2 (L359)|
Pre-facelift Land Rover LR2 (US)
|Also called||Land Rover LR2
Land Rover Freelander 2
|Production||2006 – December 2014|
|Assembly||Halewood Body & Assembly, Halewood, United Kingdom
Pune, Maharashtra, India (CKD)
Aqaba Assembly Plant, Jordan
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||5-door SUV|
|Platform||Ford EUCD platform|
Range Rover Evoque
2.0 L Ford EcoBoost 243 PS I4
3.2 L Ford SI6 233 PS I6
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 150 PS eD4
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 160 PS TD4
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 190 PS SD4
|Transmission||6-speed Getrag M66EH50 manual
6-speed Aisin AWF21 automatic
|Wheelbase||104.7 in (2,659 mm)|
|Length||177.2 in (4,501 mm)|
|Width||75.2 in (1,910 mm)|
|Height||68.5 in (1,740 mm)|
|Kerb weight||3,902–4,300 lb (1,770–1,950 kg)|
The second generation named the Freelander 2 (codename L359) debuted at the 2006 British International Motor Show. While the new model retained the Freelander name in Europe, it was marketed as LR2 in North America (mirroring the marketing of the new third generation Land Rover Discovery as LR3). A presentation at the Kensington Roof Gardens was held for journalists featuring celebrity tennis player Maria Sharapova. Production ceased at the end of 2014.
The second generation Freelander is based on the Ford EUCD platform, which itself is based on the Ford C1 platform. The Ford EUCD platform will be used by more upcoming vehicles from Volvo. The engine range is all-new for Freelander, featuring transversely-mounted 3.2-litre straight-six engine of the Ford SI6 series, which debuted in the new Volvo S80, as well as the 2.2-litre DW12 common rail turbodiesel engine, co-developed by Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Unlike previous Land Rovers, this car is manufactured in the Halewood Body & Assembly facility, near Liverpool, and was until 2009 manufactured alongside the Jaguar X-Type as Jaguar X-Type and Landrover Freelander both used modified version of Ford's front wheel drive platform. The new Freelander features higher ground clearance and off-road capabilities that are closer to other Land Rover models.
It has improved quality interior with more safety features as standard. The Freelander 2 features a modified version of the Terrain Response off-road driving system as fitted to the Discovery 3 and the Range Rover. The 4WD system was developed in conjunction with Haldex and was called Third generation coupling. Vehicles from the 2009 model year are fitted with a modified design of the active on-demand coupling, known as Haldex's Fourth generation.
The new Freelander was first sold in the U.S. in 2007 as the LR2. The 2008 version is called the LR2 HSE. The limited run HST had added side trim, front valance, and 19-inch wheels. A Ford 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 230 hp (170 kW) is standard, with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. In the United Kingdom, the standard engine is the Ford 2.2-litre diesel. The TD4 version of the engine produces 150 hp (110 kW) and 160 hp (120 kW), while the SD4 comes with 190 hp (140 kW).
Interior appointments include an Alpine 440-watt 14-speaker surround sound audio and a 7-inch touch navigation screen options, while the newer models can be equipped with an Meridian audio system, which comes with a surround sound 17-speaker system with Trifield technology, producing 825 Watts.
The Meridian system is also equipped with subwoofers and Audyssey MultEQ audio tuning system. Also a 5-inch colour display screen is standard even at the newer entry-level models. An optional cold climate package includes heated front windscreen, heated front seats with two heating levels and heated windscreen washers. The optional lighting package includes bi-xenon headlights, adaptive front-lighting, memory for the driver seat, as well as exterior mirrors and approach and puddle lamps.
Freelander 2 TD4_e
The Freelander TD4_e features stop-start technology to improve fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions. The system cuts out the engine when the vehicle is stationary, neutral is selected and the clutch engaged; the engine restarts when the clutch pedal is depressed.
The system includes a heavy-duty starter motor that also acts as a generator to recover energy through regenerative braking that is then stored in capacitors to restart the engine reducing stress on the vehicle's battery and electrical system. The stop-start system became available in spring 2009 on Freelander 2 TD4 models.
Freelander 2 eD4
For the 2011 model year, the option of two wheel drive (badged as eD4) was available. This version also lost Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control. For the 2014 model year, the Freelander gets a revised look with a grill and new interior piece.